Is Cristiano Ronaldo playing for Manchester United against Middlesbrough tonight?

Ronaldo could play against Middlesbrough. (Photo by Naomi Baker/Getty Images)
Ronaldo could play against Middlesbrough. (Photo by Naomi Baker/Getty Images)

Cristiano Ronaldo is expected to start when Manchester United take on Middlesbrough in the fourth round of the FA Cup on Friday night.

United secured a narrow 1-0 win over Aston Villa in the third round to progress further in the FA Cup. Scott McTominay's early headed goal was enough for Ralf Rangnick to win his first FA Cup tie at the helm of the Red Devils.

They have now been drawn against Championship side Middlesbrough. Despite facing a relatively weaker opponent, Ralf Rangnick could field a strong lineup as his side have just returned from a two-week break.

Cristiano Ronaldo is therefore expected to start up front at Old Trafford. It is worth noting that if Ronaldo features, it will be his first appearance in the FA Cup this season. The forward missed the third round clash against Aston Villa after suffering a hip injury.

The 36-year-old forward could be partnered alongside Jadon Sancho and Marcus Rashford in attack. Rangnick has confirmed that Edinson Cavani will return over the weekend after representing Uruguay in the international break.

Manchester United are currently a bit light in attack after loaning out Anthony Martial to Sevilla and due to the indefinite absence of Mason Greenwood. This could prompt Rangnick to play Ronaldo against Middlesbrough.

Cristiano Ronaldo has a decent record against Middlesbrough from his first stint at Old Trafford. The Portuguese forward has faced Boro on 14 occasions and has contributed five goals and three assists across all competitions. Ronaldo has scored twice in two matches against Middlesbrough in the FA Cup.

One notable returnee for Manchester United will be midfielder Paul Pogba. The 28-year-old Frenchman is in line to make his first appearance in three months. Pogba has recently recovered from an injury he picked up whilst on international duty back in November.

Cristiano Ronaldo is leading the goalscoring charts at Manchester United

As things stand, Cristiano Ronaldo is the leading goalscorer for Manchester United this season. The five-time Ballon d'Or winner has netted 14 goals in 23 appearances for the Red Devils across all competitions.

Ronaldo has scored twice as many goals as second highest goalscorer Bruno Fernandes, who has seven goals.

However, it is worth noting that Ronaldo has failed to find the back of the net for the club since their 3-1 win over Burnley back in December. The Portuguese forward failed to score in any of the three league matches he played in January.

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Edited by Anantaajith Raghuraman